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U.S. Scholars to Visit Israeli Development Towns

To foster better understanding between the Jewish communities of the United States and Israel, the American Zionist Federation, through its academic arm, the Zionist Council of the Arts and Sciences, is sending this month three prominent Jewish scholars to Israel where they will speak in three of the country’s development towns.

In making the announcement, Mrs. Faye Schenk, AZF president, said the three scholars on the new program are Dr. David Sidorsky, 47, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York; Dr. Chaim I. Waxman, 33, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Dr. Irwin Cotler, 34, Associate Professor of Law at McGill University, Montreal.

The three development towns chosen to host the American scholars are Beisan, recently the scene of the brutal murder of two women and a man by PLO terrorists; Hatzor, in upper Galilee, some 10 miles from the Golan Heights and inhabited by Jews from North Africa; and Netivot, in the Negev, halfway between Beersheba and Gaza, whose residents come from Moslem countries and the USSR.

For the past three years the AZF and the American Zionist Youth Foundation have been jointly engaged in a similar activity, with scholars coming here from Israel and spending two weeks in a community, talking to high school and college students, faculty, Zionist and non-Zionist organizations, meeting families in their homes and the general public. Through the efforts of these scholars, 20 of whom will be visiting the U.S. this year alone, the communities are developing a better understanding of Israel and its problems.

Mrs. Schenk said: “We have very good reason to believe that the Israelis are just as anxious to learn about us as we are to learn about them. This new project of the Federation will complement the activities already begun in the past. What we want to achieve, perhaps for the first time, is to base our mutual relations more on a personal level than on an institutional one. This is a unique and novel approach which I hope will be embraced by Jewish communities in both countries.

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